Del Ray: Alexandria Neighborhood Just Steps From Old Town Nightlife


Close to the action: Del Ray puts the renter within walking distance to dozens of restaurants in trendy Old Town Alexandria.

The Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Va., sounds like it should be in California, New Mexico or somewhere else in the American Southwest. But alas, it’s right here in the Washington, D.C., metro area. And we’re betting an “S” and a “W” that you might want to set up shop here for the rest of your days. (OK, maybe for the next five or 10 years. Get off my case.)

Del Ray’s roots actually extend back more than 115 years, making them particularly deep ones for Northern Virginia. The neighborhood started out as a planned community of sorts (more like four separate communities, including one named Del Ray) in 1894. In 1908, as an homage to the nearby Potomac Yard (a railroad yard), the communities fused to form the incorporated Town of Potomac. Potomac itself was annexed by the independent City of Alexandria in 1930, and today the Town of Potomac Historic District designates this portion of the city, which includes 1,840 acres and 690 buildings.

While the neighborhood doesn’t have a WMATA Metrorail station within its borders, no one living in Del Ray is much farther than a mile away from the Braddock Road Metro stop on the Blue/Yellow Line, and some are within 1,000 feet or so. Many people surely walk there.

Living in Del Ray gives one great access to many things. You’re only a couple or so miles north of the I-495 Capital Beltway, and only a little farther than that to your northwest is I-395, so commuting to the city is a snap all around.

Plus, you won’t have to use any of the above to get to restaurants and nightlife, because you’ll be right next to Old Town Alexandria. Again, depending on where you live in Del Ray, the heartier of you can actually walk there and have a good time. Not that I’d suggest walking while intoxicated, but it’s certainly preferable to driving while intoxicated, and we here at Apartment Showcase readily condemn that practice. That includes lawnmowers for those who have to ask. Just give us the keys to the John Deere, and we’ll be fine.

[ Related: Alexandria’s Old Town Lives Up to Its Name ]

Hey, maybe we’re on to something, because nothing would warm our hearts’ cockles more than watching you ride your John Deere to the Del Ray Farmers’ Market (once you’re living in the neighborhood, of course) to pick up some fresh fruits, veggies and baked goods. Maybe it’ll sober you up. Best of all, it’s open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., all year round. Check out apartments in this neighborhood and others with Apartment Showcase. 

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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